PLEASANTON, Calif. — December 15, 2009 — Zohotoday announced that it is inviting open source projects to use Zoho Discussions, the company’s online forums and community software, at no charge. Providing free use of its application for online customer support and innovation forums is the company’s way of giving back to the open source community. The Zoho invitation does not have an expiration date, and open source projects can take advantage of the offer by visiting http://www.zoho.com/discussions/open-source.html.
“We use many open source components in Zoho Apps,” said Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist.
“As open source advocates, we want to contribute to the community, and making Zoho Discussions freely available to open source projects is our way of fostering that community and saying ‘thank you.’”
The free Zoho Discussions offer being extended to open source projects is distinct from the free version of Zoho Discussions that the company offers to individuals and organizations. For open source projects, Zoho will tailor the level of service appropriate to the project’s size and needs. In addition to support for multiple forums, moderators, gigabytes of attachments, and other features, Zoho will offer free migration and customization services on a case-by-case basis. Forum visitors will be able to participate by using their Zoho username/password as well as Google, Google Apps, and Yahoo! credentials.
Prior to Zoho Discussions, jQuery used mailing lists and Google Groups to interact with its users. As part of its free offer, Zoho migrated all the data and users from the jQuery mailing lists and Google Groups into Zoho Discussions. Similarly, Zoho is customizing Zoho Discussions for free, giving the forums the same look and feel as the rest of the jQuery site.
“When looking for a new area to have discussions, we looked at a wide variety of solutions with a few major requirements: It had to be capable of handling both regular discussions and the now-ubiquitous question & answers that occur. Additionally, we wanted something that lowered the barrier to asking a question — something that anyone would be able to use (thus it had to have a good web interface).
“We also wanted a solution that would have a low maintenance threshold for the team. This would mean either using a hosted solution in which the team we were working with was very accommodating or using a solution that we host ourselves that was trivially easy to use and had a good community of developers.
“We ended up analyzing countless solutions but in the end we chose to go with Zoho Discussions. A combination of decisions drove us to this decision:
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